The best gifts are found in the bookstore

Whenever I want to buy a present for someone, I often end up getting a book. It’s kind of my go-to gift. Books are great for everyone, not just “readers” or lovers of literature.

For people who say they don’t like to read, there are lots of books that are light on text and heavy on images. Actually, it doesn’t matter if the recipient can read at all. Babies and toddlers like books because they’re attracted to the colours and shapes.

As Christmas approaches, the bookstore is the only store I can stand to be in for very long. There’s no need to worry about buying the wrong size; there’s no rummaging through shelves or bins hoping to stumble upon something appropriate.

It’s possible to walk into a bookstore without a specific title in mind and manage to leave with a personalized gift. It doesn’t matter if it’s for someone you’re not very close to (books also make great hostess presents); you just have to think about what you know about the person. If they recently took a trip to Paris, get a book of photographs of the city. For the sports fan, there are several biographies of athletes available. Even if the person has already read the book, the thought put into the gift will be clear.

Years ago, my boss at the time gave me Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club for Christmas. I had already read the book and owned a copy, but the gift meant a lot to me. My boss knew I enjoyed reading novels, he knew I loved the on-screen adaptation and he’s also a film buff. So there was a personal connection.

It was personalized even more because he included an inscription. Unlike cards, which are often tossed aside or lost, the words written inside the book itself will always be there. They remind the recipient of the gift-giver and of the sentiment.

And if you’d rather not put much thought into the gift, books are still a good choice. They can entertain us, educate us, make us see the world in ways we never did before. Not to mention, they provide nice décor for the home.

I’m sure some of my family members will read this, but I’m not spoiling any surprises. They already know they’ll get a book from me this Christmas; it’s kind of an unspoken tradition. Now I just have to come up with something meaningful to write inside.